Japan’s second largest automaker, Nissan Motor, has pledged an entry into the race of autonomous technology – aiming to have commercially viable models by 2020 – and has decided to marry the research with its signature zero emissions vehicle.
The latest prototype uses as a testing bed the Leaf electric car, fills it with sensors and cameras and radars to allow it to change lanes, pass other cars and merge on and off the highway alone. The system is also the beta preview of the technology features gathered under the Piloted Drive 1.0 moniker that Nissan wants to put in Japanese models by the end of 2016. The model was showcased for the first time in Japan on Friday at the automaker’s Advanced Technology Center south of Tokyo. Tetsuya Iijima, the boss of Nissan’s advanced driver assist systems strategy and engineering division, said they built a fleet of three such Leafs and they would use them to prepare the technology for mass production and commercialization.
Nissan has gathered all the technologies under the “Nissan Intelligent Driving” guise, announcing since last year a couple of new technologies – namely a traffic-jam pilot and an automatic parking – would be introduced by the end of 2016, followed by an automatic lane-changing system in 2018. Also, by the end of the decade, the Nissan models would be equipped with a new, smart-assist feature that would enable Nissan’s autos to handle city intersections without driver input. Naturally, the make’s Leaf electric – a signature zero emission vehicle and the top selling model in the segment – has been used as a rolling test mule, with the car showcased late last week using the latest updates.
Via Automotive News Europe